RBM Reviews Portal

RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, & Cultural Heritage reviews new books, periodicals and reports; exhibition, book and auction catalogues; and databases, websites, blogs, and other electronic resources, pertaining to the world inhabited by cultural heritage institutions, including (but not limited to) special collections libraries, museums, and archives. 

Writing a review is a great way to contribute to the professional discussion about our literature and is an ideal venue for new authors. The Editors of RBM welcome students and early professionals to indicate your interest in reviewing. We encourage those who may not have written a review in a while, or who may not have written a review at all, to volunteer. 

All reviews accepted for publication will be accessible via this online portal, and a selection will be included in one of the biannual print issues. The online portal is an extension of the Reviews section in the biannual print issues of RBM. Inclusion in the online portal indicates the same level of review quality, while expanding RBM’s capacity for reviews beyond the limitations of print page count.

If you are interested in being added to the slate of prospective reviewers, please complete the RBM Reviewers Form, including a description of your area(s) of interest/expertise.

Publishers, readers, or prospective reviewers who would like to suggest resources for review may do so through the Review Suggestions Form

If you have any questions, please contact RBM Reviews Editor John Henry Adams at j.adams@missouri.edu.

Recent Reviews

Michelle Elligott, Michelle Harvey. Modern Artifacts. Edited by Tod Lippy. Contributions from Mary Ellen Carroll, Rhea Karam, Mary Lum, Clifford Owens, Michael Rakowitz, and Paul Ramirez Jonas. Brooklyn, NY: Esopus Books, 2020. Softcover, 354p. $60.00. (ISBN: 9780989911771). Reviewed by Diane Dias De Fazio.

Gary Goodman. The Last Bookseller: A Life in the Rare Book Trade. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2021. Hardcover. $19.95. (ISBN: 978-1-5179-1257-4). Reviewed by Colleen Barrett.

Lois Hamill. Archives 101. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021. Hardcover/Paperback/eBook, xiii, 287p. $115.00/$48.00/$45.50. (ISBN: 978-1-5381-3300-2/978-1-5381-3301-9/978-1-5381-3302-6). Reviewed by Courtney Gillie.

Megan Heffernan. Making the Miscellany: Poetry, Print, and the History of the Book in Early Modern England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021. Hardcover, 336p. $65.00. (ISBN: 978-0-812-25280-4). Published in co-operation with the Folger Shakespeare Library. Reviewed by Elizabeth DeBold.

Eyal Poleg. A Material History of the Bible: England 1200–1553. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. Hardcover or ebook, xxxiv, 227p. £67.00/US$90.00 (ISBN 978-0-19-726671-7). Reviewed by Jonathan Lawler.

Megan Rosenbloom. Dark Archives: A Librarian's Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin. New York, NY: Picador, 2021. Paperback, 288p. $18.00 (ISBN: 978-1-2508-0016-9). Reviewed by Nicole Topich.

Nathan Shockey. The Typographic Imagination: Reading and Writing in Japan’s Age of Modern Print Media. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020. Hardcover, 314p. $65.00 (ISBN 9780231194280). Reviewed by Ikumi Crocoll.

Andrew M. Stauffer. Book Traces: Nineteenth Century Readers and the Future of the Library. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021. Hardcover/eBook, 207p. $49.95/$49.95 (ISBN: 9780812252682/9780812297492). Reviwed by Alison Reynolds.

Garrett Stewart. Book, Text, Medium: Cross-Sectional Reading for a Digital Age. Cambridge, UK; New York, NY; Melbourne, AU; and New Delhi, IN: Cambridge University Press, 2021. Hardcover, 280p. $99.99 (ISBN: 9781108834599, paperback ISBN: 9781108819688, eBook ISBN: 9781108883061). Review by Katherine Prater.

Elaine Treharne. Perceptions of Medieval Manuscripts: The Phenomenal Book. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. Hardcover, 272p, $40.00 (ISBN: 978-0192843814). Review by J. Eric Ensley.

Sarah Werner. Studying Early Printed Books, 1450-1800: A Practical GuideWest Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, 2019. Paperback, 188p. $28.95. (ISBN: 978-1-119-04996-8). Reviewed by Erika Hosselkus.

David R. Whitesell. A Curator’s Wunderkammer: A Decade of Collecting for the University of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia, 2022. $25.00. reviewed by Marian Toledo Candelaria.

2023 Reviews

Janet Marstine and Svetlana Mintcheva, eds. Curating under Pressure: International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity. New York: Routledge, 2021. Paperback, 264p., $44.95 (ISBN: 978-0815396192, hardcover ISBN: 978-081539. Reviewed by Martha Tanner.

Jane C. Milosch and Nick Pearce, eds. Collecting and Provenance: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative, 2019. Paperback. $75.00. (ISBN: 9781538127568). Reviewed by Margaret Gamm.

Jamie Simek. Beyond the Bake Sale: Fundraising for Local History Organizations. Washington, D.C.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers/AASLH, 2022. Hardback/Paperback/eBook, 254p. $105.00/$45.00/$42.50. (ISBN: 978-1-5381-4877-8). Reviewed by Susan Illis.

2022 Reviews

Ballantyne, Tony, Lachy Paterson, and Angela Wanhalla, eds. Indigenous Textual Cultures: Reading and Writing in the Age of Global Empire. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2020. Paperback, 368 p. $28.95 (978-1-4780-1081-4); cloth, $104.95 (978-1-4780-0976-4). Reviewed by Julie K. Tanaka.

Jeannette A. Bastian and Andrew Flinn, eds. Community Archives, Community Spaces: Heritage, Memory and Identity. London: Facet Publishing, 2020. Softcover or ebook, xxiv, 190p. £69.95/US$89.95 (ISBN 978-1-78330-3502). Reviewed by Eric Hung.

Curating Under Pressure: International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity. Janet Marstine and Svetlana Mintcheva, eds. New York, NY: Routledge, 2021. Ebook, xxv, 264p. $40.45 (ISBN: 978-0-8153-9621-5). Reviewed by Alison Reynolds.

Lucas A. Dietrich. Writing Across the Color Line: U.S. Print Culture and the Rise of Ethnic Literature, 1877–1920. Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2020. Paper, 199 p. $26.95. ISBN: 978-1-62534-487-8. Reviewed by Alison Fraser.

Adam Gordon. Prophets, Publicists, and Parasites: Antebellum Print Culture and the Rise of the Critic. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2020. Paperback, 280p. $27 (ISBN: 978-1-6253-4453-3). Reviwed by Nicole Topich.

Beatrice Gruendler. The Rise of the Arabic Book. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2020. Hardcover, 262p. $39.95. ISBN:978-0-674-98781-4. Reviewed by Jessa Feiler.

Mary Kandiuk, ed. Archives and Special Collections as Sites of Contestation. Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press, 2020. Softcover, 520p. $35.00 (ISBN 9781634000628). Reviewed by Bradley J. Wiles.

Sheila Liming. What a Library Means to a Woman: Edith Wharton and the Will to Collect Books. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2020. Paperback, 280p, $27.00 (ISBN 978-1-5179-0704-4). Reviewed by Maureen Maryanski.

On the Road Again: Developing and Managing Traveling Exhibitions. 2nd ed. Rebecca A. Buck, Jean A. Gilmore, and Irene Taurins, eds. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020. Paperback, 105p. $35.00 (ISBN: 978-1-5381-3077-3). Reviewed by Erika Hosselkus.

Reading Mathematics in Early Modern Europe: Studies in the Production, Collection, and Use of Mathematical Books. Philip Beeley, Yelda Nasifoglu, and Benjamin Wardaugh, eds. New York, NY: Routledge, 2021. Hardcover, 348p. $160 (ISBN 978-0-367-60925-2). Ebook, 348p. $44.05 (ISBN 978-1-003-10255-7). Reviewed by Lena Newman.

2021 Reviews

2020 Reviews